SAVE THE DATE for the Sisters Empowering Sisters Annual Conference: March 15-16, 2024 :point_right: [LEARN MORE](https://www.imageinitiative.org/conference/)
SAVE THE DATE for the Sisters Empowering Sisters Annual Conference: March 15-16, 2024 :point_right: [LEARN MORE](https://www.imageinitiative.org/conference/)
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Board of Directors

Nicole Watkins

Founder and President

Colette Montgomery

Vice President

Tiffany C. Rush

Vice President

Dr. LaRhonda Ealey

Treasurer

Dr. Sheila Aird

Board Member

Yalonda Bey

Board Member

Afua Boahene

Secretary

Tanesha
Cameron-Cole

Board Member

Dr. Griselda Rodriguez-Solomon

Board Member

Marissa L. Willingham

Board Member

Semaj Campbell

Program Coordinator
Image Initiative Alum

In Memoriam

Dr. Bridget L. Lawson

Board Member

It was 23 years ago and I met a young woman who changed my life…I was serving as a mentor for the Neighborhood Action Council Peer Leadership Program through the Center for Community Alternatives and my mentee was Henninger High School student Bridget L. Lawson. Bridget was tough, and commited to her community, I knew she had the ability to impact lives. Within 20 years, Bridget attained her Bachelors from Cazenovia College, a Masters of Social Work from Syracuse University and went on to pursue her PhD at Syracuse University’s School of Education in the Cultural Foundations of Education program. In addition, Bridget remained active in the community and took on the personal commitment of mentoring young women. One of the ways she did that was by serving on the Board of the Image Initiative, Inc.

September 2020 will forever be etched in the hearts of the Image Initiative as the time when our family, our sisterhood lost “our” Bridget. When the world slowed down and we didn’t know how we would move forward without Bridget’s smile and straightforward “no-nonsense” point of view, her laugh and way you knew what she was thinking by reading her face, her passion and commitment to what was best for our girls…how do we move on without someone so significant to us, the missing piece to our family puzzle? How do we make sense of the very thing we don’t want to make sense of? We don’t move on…we grieve together, we mourn together, we think of her and we smile through the tears together, we love her together, but most importantly…we continue to uphold the legacy of her commitment to the community and to our girls together…that is what Dr. Bridget L. Lawson would want us to do…and so it shall be.

What I didn’t know 20 years ago was the impact Bridget would have on my life, and the foundation she would lay for me to want to empower and inspire the other Bridget’s of the world. She has no idea what our paths crossing ultimately meant and the gift she gave to me and our team.

In Love,

Nicole Watkins, Founder & President, The Image Initiative, Inc.

Tiffany C. Rush, Colette M. Montgomery, Dr. LaRhonda Ealey, Tanesha Cameron-Cole, Afua Boahene, Dr. Griselda Rodriguez-Solomon, Marissa Willingham, Dr. Sheila M. Aird, Yalonda Bey, Vanessa Asforis, Tasha Campbell, Katherine Hills, Tania Williams, Nodesia Hernandez, Natalie Byrdsong, JaSheika James, JaNeika James, Semaj Campbell, SaQuota L. Reaves, Kenneisha Reaves, Chelsea Willis, Amber Green, Dr. Katina Stapleton, Cheryl Dixon Hills, Eva Williams, Jossette Burgos, Kiesha Johnson, Maria J. Lopez

BridgetLawson-Tribute

In Memoriam

Josette “Josie” Burgos

Emeritus Board Member

We find ourselves here again. Coming to terms with the loss of a sista’ so integral to our family and organization. Today we honor “nuestra hermana” Jossette (Josie) Burgos.

It was just last week that I thought to myself, “I have to reach out to Josie regarding next year’s 20th Anniversary…she has to be on that committee. Those words, “She has to be on that committee” means more than you can ever imagine. Josie was one of the reasons there was a 1st Sisters Empowering Sisters Conference. She was part of the original group of women who helped lay the foundation for what will be the 19th Sisters Empowering Sisters Annual Conference. Her “no nonsense” dedication to and countless conversations regarding “our girls” and what we were going to do for “our girls” still rings in my head today.

Josie was apasionada about her community, whether it was her SU community or her Syracuse community. That coupled with her drive for business and entrepreneurship made her an incredible example to the many young women who came through this organization; those who had the opportunity to engage with her. She was a strong sista’ and fought for what she believed in. You could always get the truth (whether you wanted it or not) from Josie 😊. Sometimes in life, you wonder how things come to be.

Sometimes you take a step back and look at those who are a part of your circle, your immediate world and come to realize that people are a part of your life for a reason…a season….and or a lifetime. Josie has touched many lives and contributed to the mission of many organizations. I believe GOD brought Josie into the lives of our Image Initiative family for the reason of impacting the lives of our young women in Syracuse, I believe as the leaves turn in the Fall and the Spring renews Josie spent her seasons with us and most importantly her legacy and love to this organization will last a lifetime.

Rest In Power, Purpose and Peace Nuestra Hermana,

Nicole Watkins, Founder & President, The Image Initiative, Inc.

Tiffany C. Rush, Colette M. Montgomery, Dr. LaRhonda Ealey, Tanesha Cameron-Cole, Afua Boahene, Dr. Griselda Rodriguez-Solomon, Marissa Willingham, Dr. Sheila M. Aird, Yalonda Bey, Vanessa Asforis, Tasha Campbell, Katherine Hills, Tania Williams, Nodesia Hernandez, Natalie Byrdsong, JaSheika James, JaNeika James, Semaj Campbell, SaQuota L. Reaves, Kenneisha Reaves, Chelsea Willis, Amber Green, Dr. Katina Stapleton, Cheryl Dixon Hills, Eva Williams, Jossette Burgos, Kiesha Johnson, Maria Lopez

Jossette Burgos

Additional Members

Advisory Board

Natalie Byrdsong
Amber Gardner
JaNeika James
JaSheika James
Tasha Campbell
Nodesia Hernandez
Katherine Hills
Genny Moore
Chariesse Turner
Jason Watkins, Esq.
Tania Williams

Emeritus Board

Jossette Burgos
Cheryl Dixon-Hills
Kiesha Johnson
                   Maria J. Lopez                                       Gina McAllister                    Dr. Katina Stapleton
Eva Williams

Ambassador Board

Amber Green, Image Initiative Alum
SaQuota Reaves, Image Initiative Alum
Kenneisha Reaves, Image Initiative Alum
Chelsea Willis, Image Initiative Alum